Snapchat boss: US faces ‘century of competition’


The US is entering a new era of global competition and the country needs to invest much more in future generations, the boss of Snap has told the BBC.

Evan Spiegel, whose firm includes the Snapchat app, said the US faces a “century of strategic competition” from fast-growing economies like China.

“This is not something we have confronted before,” he said.

Mr Spiegel, who was guest editing Radio 4’s Today, said the US needed to think long-term to compete in the future.

Mr Spiegel, who launched Snapchat while studying at Stanford University and became one of the world’s youngest billionaires at the age of 25, also said he would be “happy” to pay more taxes.

He feels that it was “inevitable” that Silicon Valley tech firms have grown in power due to the advent of the internet, and that it was “reasonable” for there to be increased regulatory scrutiny of tech giants.

Snapchat hit almost 250 million daily users in October.

However he stressed that governments and technology have a symbiotic relationship, and that if tech giants pay more taxes, at least some of that money needs to be put back funding research into developing new technologies like artificial intelligence.

“The history of great nations really tends to be built on huge breakthroughs in technology and a lot of times that technology is founded on government investment,” he explained.

“I think it’s really easy today in our political system to focus on the failures, rather than these amazing successes.

“Regulation is only one part of a comprehensive technology strategy – the rest of it really has to be oriented around…investment in new technology.”


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